i watched ghostbusters

usually these little writeups go on quite a bit. this one will not do that. spoilerinos:

SO, watched the new ghostbusters movie today and it was pretty decent! loads of fun, loads of laughs, a few jokes that fell flat. dumb as hell but come on. it’s a movie about people fighting ghosts.

based on the trailers i was little bit concerned about leslie jones’s character. we have a team of four women here, who are, initially,

  • respected physics professor
  • crank, but still, particle physics expert
  • wicked good engineer
  • subway worker who “knows the streets”

and you’ll never guess which was cast black. excuse me, my eyes rolled so hard they fell out of my head. i need to go find them. jones was awesome in the movie, as i’ll get to in a sec, but this particular casting is frustrating.

all right so i went into the theater with pretty good expectations and the first act of this movie did its damnedest to disappoint. all those jokes that fell flat that i mentioned happen in the first 20 minutes or so. before erin and abby become friends again over sharing this omg ghosts discovery, which felt pretty real even though they never then addressed this “abandoning” thing as friends (i bet they do in the deleted scenes), their barbs back and forth are just…stupid. if that was the point the movie was playing with fire being as unfunny as it was for as long as it was, but mainly i think it just went UNSUBTLE LEAD BALLOON OF A JOKE thirty or forty times in a row to get started.

patty saves the movie. the scene where she shows up in their um “office” is a turning point where suddenly the writing gets a whole hell of a lot better. it’s like someone else wrote the screenplay for the parts of the movie before that scene. i don’t understand it. it was SO ROUGH and then all of a sudden SO MUCH BETTER. the overwhelming majority of the movie was fun and good and enjoyable, so my recommendation here is, read this:

“erin and abby were friends once and wrote a book about ghosts but then erin went into science and she’s up for tenure, when abby publishes the thing, so her science career is threatened. abby’s got an insane engineer pal whose name i never did remember, and they go find a ghost and get to be friends again. video of that costs erin her tenure so they try to start this ghosty work and patty shows up in their office having seen one.”

and then go show up to the movie about 20 minutes late. much better experience that way. everything before that sucks, everything after it is pretty great. i’m not even sure how much of that is coincidence. patty is a delight, really complements the other three well, it’s just a shame the writing couldn’t carry her absence in the beginning.

i felt like the Kevin character went farther than it needed to to make its point, but the more i tried to explain that here the more i realized that it was because i understood what it was doing from the get go. he’s a hella dumb disgrace that they keep around because boners because that’s the point, of course. he’s really really annoying because *cough* that’s also the point which is what i was missing. the writers want you to understand how they feel watching Eyecandy Blonde in every other movie. so i’ll leave my critique of him as “probably written too ham-fistedly but ultimately decent satire.” i really enjoyed that Dumb Blonde Eyecandy became a male Damsel in Distress that our heroes had to save though. that was a nice touch. and chris hemsworth absolutely throws himself at this character with gusto. props to him because otherwise it could have fallen really flat.

if you’re a man who is offended by kevin, by the way, THAT’S THE FUCKING POINT. THAT’S THE POINT ON THE VERY MOST SURFACE LEVEL. GOOD GOD. learn to be critical with your head and not your feels.

it’s a dumb movie. the engineer (who i found slightly irritating btw) just fabricates stuff with wild abandon instantly and it all works immediately and is exactly correct for what they need. there’s ghosts and shit and impossibly dumb people and a magic portal and incomprehensible technobabble. there’s no real stakes, as reversing the portal seems to reverse all the damage the army of ghosts does. but, apart from the first act, none of that actually matters. i still had a blast watching this movie and think you should go see it.


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